Snipers off the mark

IAN BUSBY -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 7:30 AM ET

By the feeling in the locker-room prior to Saturday's game, the Calgary Roughnecks should have known their offence was feeling a little ill.

Forwards Kyle Goundrey and Kaleb Toth were just two of the players suddenly battling flu symptoms before the meeting with the Philadelphia Wings.

Yet in the wake of a 10-7 loss, Roughnecks head coach Chris Hall doesn't believe there will be any lingering effects from a sickly offensive showing on the floor.

"They played an aggressive defence and we didn't collectively manage that," Hall said. "It's not something we didn't prepare for.

"We just didn't execute our breakouts very well and didn't do what was necessary to continue our transition game.

"We started getting into one-on-one battles instead of working as a team. People started struggling a little bit so the natural feeling is to try and do it themselves."

Goundrey missed only his fifth game in franchise history, while Toth was clearly not 100% despite coming out with energy and scoring a goal in the first quarter.

But Hall isn't using health as an excuse because the Wings made the Riggers forwards pay a price for getting into shooting position.

The problem then was the Roughnecks weren't picking open spots when Wings goalie Matt Roik was covering the bottom of the net.

It seemed plenty of energy was spent finding space and little was left for concentrating on hitting openings.

"I looked at the tape and we had good selection but we didn't shoot it very well," Hall said.

"We just didn't focus on where we wanted to finish.

"We kept hitting Matt in the logo or trying to jam it in the five-hole. I guess he did a good job of showing something and then taking it away.

"We talked at length before, during and after the game that's not where we could beat him."

The Roughnecks jump back into a tough divisional matchup Sunday in Colorado against the first-place Mammoth.

With only one practice before that road game, Calgary (4-2) will concentrate on sharpening up the powerplay.

Philadelphia gave the Roughnecks nine minutes of man-advantage time in the third quarter alone in Saturday's tilt but didn't allow a single goal.

Hall said that comes down to simply concentrating on setting the plays properly. Having Goundrey and Toth back in full form should help.

"Our powerplay wasn't crisp," Hall said. "The ball didn't move well and we didn't move well.

"It has to be sharper than that. We had a chance to get back into it and couldn't cash in.

"It was being handed to us on a silver platter and we didn't take it."


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